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Ervin Leaves Council to Lead Organization Helping Low-Income Families

Montgomery County Council Member Valerie Ervin (D-District 5) will leave the council to lead New York-based nonprofit organization Center for Working Families.

Council Member Valerie Ervin announced on Dec. 10, 2013, that she will become executive director of the Center for Working Families. She will resign her seat as the council’s District 5 representative in January. Credit: Montgomery County Council.
Council Member Valerie Ervin announced on Dec. 10, 2013, that she will become executive director of the Center for Working Families. She will resign her seat as the council’s District 5 representative in January. Credit: Montgomery County Council.

Montgomery County Council Member Valerie Ervin (D-District 5) announced on Tuesday her resignation from the council to lead nonprofit organization Center for Working Families, the county council's office reported.

The organization—which works to achieve a more socially just world, with living wages, affordable health care, secure retirements and equal access to educational opportunities for all children, the council's office reported—will be a good fit for Ervin.

"Becoming executive director of the Center for Working Families is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Ervin said on Tuesday.

"I was both surprised and honored to be asked to pursue these issues at the national level. After careful reflection and deliberation with my family, friends and supporters, I believe that leading this organization will enable me to have a greater impact on the issues I care about most."

Ervin is "best known for her work on [social] issues including establishing a county minimum wage, increasing child care subsidies for working parents, ensuring that prevailing wages are paid on construction projects, providing contract protections for service workers, expanding summer food and universal breakfast programs for children and creating the first county-wide food recovery network in the nation," the council's office reported.

At Tuesday's announcement, Ervin said, "I started my political career as a concerned mom who cared about the welfare of all of the children in our community, and this will never change. As I transition to a broader platform, my experiences in this community will serve me well."

Ervin, whose accomplishments as a council member are listed on the county's website, is in her second term as council member on the county council. She was first elected to the council in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010.

Ervin served as the council's president from 2010 to 2011, and is the chair of the council's Education Committee. She also serves on the council's Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. She is a former member of the Montgomery County Board of Education (she was elected to the board in 2004) and is a strong advocated for marriage equality, the council's office added.  

She represents District 5, which includes the communities of Briggs Chaney, Burnt Mills, Burtonsville, Calverton, Cloverly, Colesville, Fairland, Four Corners, Hillandale, Lyttonsville, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and White Oak, according to the council's website.

"It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the residents of District 5," she said.

"Thank you for allowing me to make a difference and for your ongoing support and friendship. Together we have accomplished great things, and I know that the best is still to come," she added.

At Tuesday's announcement, Council President Craig Rice (D-District 2) said, "Ervin has been an ardent champion for working families and children in Montgomery County throughout her tenure on the council. She should be commended for her leadership and advocacy for food recovery and sustainability, education equality and workers' rights. I want to thank her for making a positive impact and enhancing the lives of our residents."

Council Member Nancy Navarro (D-District 4) added that "Ervin has a stellar public service record, and Montgomery County residents are better off because of her vision, dedication and tenacity. Her contributions have made a permanent impact on the fabric of our communities."

The Washington Post reported Tuesday morning that the county council "is required by law to appoint a successor to fill her unexpired term after the resignation is effective—which is expected to be within the next few weeks."

Editor's note: This post has been updated.

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